Marvel’s Attempt to Support Local Comic Shops

With the new year come the inevitable lists of the best of 2016. One such list is Paste Magazine’s list of the top 25 comic books of 2016.

Marvel, which enjoyed very positive reactions to all the movies it put out last year, only took three spots on the best comic book list, 7, 21, and 25. Its main competitor, DC/Vertigo, did not receive positive reactions for its movies this year (receiving some of the worst ratings in comic book movie history), but it took four spots on the best comic book list, 2, 4, 14, and 17. Though DC only nabbed one more spot than Marvel, the placements on that list show a difference in performance over 2016.

Despite the lack of spots for Marvel on Paste’s list, News-a-Rama reports that Marvel leads in unit market share for November of 2016, 39.46% over DC’s 31.30%.

new-piktochart_842_00dd8d0ab8e631f3c107c16e2f34efe5bbd81673(information taken from News-a-Rama’s report)

This week, Forbes reported a new venture from Marvel Comics that will start this February. The plan, which is described in detail on Marvel’s website, is a push by Marvel Comics to support print sales in local comic shops. Marvel will offer digital bonus comics with the purchase of Marvel universe titles (excluding all-age comics). The bonus comics will change week to week, but will always be the first issue of a Marvel series (the first week of February will offer the first issues in Civil War II, Captain Marvel volume 2, and Wolverine: Old Man Logan).

@RyanHigginsRyan, owner of Comics Conspiracy in Sunnyvale, California, tweeted, “As a store owner, I implore you guys to reconsider the digital code changes. Have many [customers] who only buy physical because of it.”

On the contrary, Alex, manager of The Comic Book Store in Glassboro, New Jersey, is not worried about the change, “I don’t really think it will make much of a difference for the store.”

So, the concern of some local comic stores is that this new program, which may have been intended to be good for them, may cause sales of the physical comics to drop. Now, fans may just buy the digital comics of their favorite Marvel heroes. Only time will tell how this new strategy will work out for Marvel, but please post your feelings below!


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